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It first appeared in the 11th century in the sequence ii (as in ingeníí), then spread to i adjacent to m, n, u, and finally to all lowercase i's.
The j, originally a variant of i, inherited the tittle.
Also, aa, when used as an alternative spelling to å, is sorted as such.
Other letters modified by diacritics are treated as variants of the underlying letter, with the exception that ü is frequently sorted as y.
In the Hanyu Pinyin official romanization system for Chinese, diacritics are used to mark the tones of the syllables in which the marked vowels occur.
In orthography and collation, a letter modified by a diacritic may be treated either as a new, distinct letter or as a letter–diacritic combination.
This has led to fears internationally that the marks and accents may be made obsolete to facilitate the worldwide exchange of data.
Efforts have been made to create internationalized domain names that further extend the English alphabet (e.g., "pokémon.com").
French treats letters with diacritical marks the same as the underlying letter for purposes of ordering and dictionaries.
Depending on the keyboard layout, which differs amongst countries, it is more or less easy to enter letters with diacritics on computers and typewriters.
Some have their own keys; some are created by first pressing the key with the diacritic mark followed by the letter to place it on.
The Scandinavian languages, by contrast, treat the characters with diacritics ä, ö and å as new and separate letters of the alphabet, and sort them after z.
Usually ä is sorted as equal to æ (ash) and ö is sorted as equal to ø (o-slash).